Trump Responds to Charges Against Paul Manafort

Trump Responds to Charges Against Paul Manafort

CNBC - President Donald Trump speaks about administration plans to combat the nation's opioid crisis in the East Room of the White House in Washington, October 26, 2017.

President Donald Trump on Monday responded to news that his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort had been charged with 12 counts of money laundering and conspiracy by arguing that the alleged crimes occurred long before Manafort took over the Trump campaign, in June of 2016.

"Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????" he tweeted.

Manafort's former longtime business partner, Rick Gates, also was charged in the 31 page indictment, made public on Monday. Gates and Manafort both surrendered to authorities on Monday morning.

Following news of the indictments, a White House source told NBC News that the charges had not come as a surprise to the Trump administration. "The White House has been saying for weeks the special counsel is moving far more quickly and deliberatively than people have been reporting. The fact that the special counsel is actively performing its duties does not come as a surprise to the White House," the source said.

Since the appointment in May of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, Trump has repeatedly dismissed the probe as a "witch hunt" and a "hoax" cooked up by Democrats unwilling to accept the 2016 election's results.

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